With the UK home care franchise market booming, prospective franchisees need to know how to evaluate the many choices of franchisor and know what to look for in a good business opportunity
As our society ages and the demand for home care continues to rise, the franchise model has emerged as a popular way to meet this demand. However, not all home care franchises are created equally. There is a significant difference between those that are ethically led, focused on quality and sustainability, and those that prioritise rapid expansion at any cost without a concern for the customer experience or, indeed, the strict requirements of care regulators such as the CQC.
Read on to explore some of the key factors that will help you identify an ethical home care franchise that offers genuine in-depth support and cares about your long-term success.
Do they have BFA (British Franchise Association) Established accreditation? The Established accreditation signifies that the franchisor has a level of financial stability whereby they don’t need to recruit additional franchisees to sustain their financial position. Ethical franchisors aim for long-term success of its model and their franchisees, not just quick gains.
Research the ratings of franchised offices with the care regulator. If more than a couple of offices are not performing well it could indicate an issue around quality standards.
If a franchise is adding many more than 10 offices per year it may struggle to provide support to new franchisees. Quality support is time-intensive and requires a diverse skillset. An ethical franchisor prioritises quality over quantity. Look at the expertise and ratio of support team members to franchisees. Is support delivered by a skilled, invested National Office team or by a group of agency freelancers?
Will you have a dedicated onboarding manager or team with extensive experience in helping businesses start up? An ethical franchise invests in the success of its franchisees right from the outset with this dedicated resource.
Ask what regular touchpoints you will have with the franchisor. Will they regularly review your data with you? What is the marketing and recruitment support offering? Do they provide quality and compliance support? Will they proactively identify areas of improvement across all areas of your business? Will they support you with managing your finances and to identify ways to drive your business forward.
Read reviews from clients online to understand the quality of care being delivered. A quality franchise should generate consistently high client satisfaction scores on homecare.co.uk. Look out for other accolades, at both national and local level as well as other on-line sources, such as Indeed or Google reviews.
An ethical franchisor should be transparent about the financial information they share for you to assess the earnings potential of becoming a franchisee. You should understand exactly what this information is based on e.g. average UK network performance. If the franchisor is not forthcoming, if the data is not based on UK offices or if you can’t understand exactly what the figures relate to, it raises serious questions about the franchise model you will be following.
An ethical franchise partnership is a long-term commitment. There should be no high-pressure sales tactics involved. The process should focus on sharing information on both sides to establish a mutually beneficial partnership. Additionally, they should be open to letting you speak with anyone in their network.
Ethical franchisors are highly selective about who they bring into their network. If you feel they recruit people who don’t place quality of care as their main priority, it may indicate a short-term, unsustainable approach that relies on fees from new franchisees to support the cashflow of the business.
The UK home care sector welcomes ethical franchisors who prioritise bringing the best franchisees into the sector to build sustainable care businesses that can positively impact communities throughout the country.
If you are considering the home care sector as a franchisee then use these criteria as a starting point on your journey to find the right franchisor for you.
With thanks to Ruth Brown, COO Home Instead Senior Care; and Lucy Campbell, CEO Right at Home for their valued contribution to this article.
If you are interested in opening a business that makes a meaningful difference to your local community, Radfield Home Care could be for you. For more information, reach out to our team here and request an information pack. If you’re curious about what it might mean to be a franchise owner, click here for more information and to take our franchise quiz.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.